Bears Mail: Drafting a QB, second-round safeties

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws during a drill at the NFL football 
scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In this week's edition of our Bears' tweet/mailbag, Kevin Fishbain answers your pre-draft questions about quarterbacks, safeties, running backs and more. Click here for all of our draft content, including mailbags, mock drafts and analysis.

From @DC_Editor: You think the Bears will draft a prospect for backup QB of the future? Any chance it could be Garoppolo from EIU?

From @jemx0: So do you think the Bears will shock everyone by taking a QB in the top 3 rounds?

From @Chisportupdates: Do you think the Bears will draft a QB?

From @thepallister: Given [Jay Cutler’s] injury history in recent years, what are the chances the Bears draft a QB to develop in Trestman’s system?

Well, I guess we know what the theme was this week — quarterback! Hub already expressed his opinion on this topic, which is that the position is not a need, and I tend to agree — especially in the first three rounds (and Jimmy Garoppolo will certainly be off the board by then, probably before the third, but boy would he be a good option for the Bears' system). Jay Cutler is set for at least three years with his new contract and the team seems comfortable, for now, with Jordan Palmer as a backup. They could also look to the undrafted ranks and find another “Matt Blanchard” to join the team for camp. However… 

From @randywedo57: If you were a GM, which QB would you take in the later rounds? Boyd, Fales, Savage….?

I could see the Bears, in the right situation in the later rounds, taking a flier on a signalcaller. This is what can happen when you have an offensive-minded coach like Marc Trestman. If he sees a quarterback he would love to groom, it would make a ton of sense for the Bears to take one. Since 2001, the Patriots’ starting quarterback has been Tom Brady, but they’ve drafted six QBs in that time. The Bears haven’t drafted one that has stuck since Kyle Orton in ’05.

So to the question – David Fales has that quick-hitting precision that would work in a Bears offense, but not the height Trestman seems to prefer. Boyd has a strong arm and athleticism, but is only 6-foot-1 and accuracy has been an issue. Tom Savage is someone that seems to be “climbing draft boards.” Unlike Boyd and Fales, he has the size, in addition to a strong arm, but Savage seems to be more of a developmental prospect after playing at three schools. Of those three, I’d prefer Fales; for the Bears, also keep an eye on Zach Mettenberger.

From @Andy_C_Harris: Emery said size is very important on the D-line. Would he really draft [Aaron] Donald despite size concerns?

Donald measured in at a hair under 6-foot-1 and 285 pounds. His hope is to live up to the lofty comparisons to Geno Atkins (6-1, 303 pounds). While Emery likes length on the D-line, as seen with the defensive end signings this spring, he also loves great athletes, and Donald was a star at the Combine. At this point, it seems like the Bears would be fortunate if Donald were even available at 14, and then we’d get a good idea of a) if Emery sees Donald’s size as something that will keep him from being as productive as he was in college and b) how much the Bears think they need a three-technique.

From @juang711: With such a deep draft, what is the likelihood the Bears find a trade partner and trade down and acquire more picks?

Emery has discussed wanting to, ideally, build this Bears team through the draft, though most GMs say that. He does prefer to have more picks, not fewer, and will take a look at every outlet to compile picks, especially with so many needs on defense and the skill positions on offense. I don’t necessarily envision a trade-down scenario in the first round, but certainly the other picks are fair game.

From @KevinMShannon: What is the drop-off from [Ha Ha] Clinton-Dix to Terrence Brooks? Is he a better value in the 2nd?

Clinton-Dix has better size and versatility to be a center-field safety that can also help in run support, compared to Brooks, a former corner who ran a 4.42 40-yard dash. Brooks is a great athlete and cover man, but there are questions about his size and strength that you don’t hear about Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor. There definitely seems to be a drop-off from those two first-round prospects and everyone else (Brooks, Jimmie Ward, Deone Bucannon).

From the Bears’ perspective, this is an important thing to consider, though, if they don’t go safety at 14. While the class isn’t necessarily “deep,” the second-to-third-round prospects all have plenty of good attributes, including Brooks, and the Bears may like the value of waiting, if it means they got their guy at another position in the first round. However, unlike the rest of the safety prospects, Clinton-Dix and Pryor seem to provide solid value and immediate starter potential at 14.

From @ShrugSports: Any thoughts on drafting [Tre Mason]? He seems like the perfect pairing with [Matt Forte] after the revolving door of RBs start new?

Mason was a beast last season and finished as the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year. He’s 5-foot-8, and uses that to his advantage with good vision and balance. While he is good in pass protection — an important attribute for a backup back, Emery says — Mason had only 12 catches last season. He would be a great addition to any backfield, but I don’t see this happening for Chicago. Mason is considered an early-round back, and the Bears can find a number of good running backs in the later rounds. The position is not what is used to be. 

From @BIGN98: What do you think about Kevin Pierre-Louis out of Boston College?

This is a special mailbag question, coming from Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins, who admitted his bias since he went to the same high school (King Low Heywood Thomas High in Stamford, CT) as Pierre-Louis. Since Nate was kind enough to tweet a question, I did some homework, and saw Dane Brugler of CBS and wrote that Pierre-Louis should be on the Bears’ radar.

From watching a couple games, Pierre-Louis has a very good motor and moves well laterally. Boston College used him often blitzing off the edge. He was a Combine workout warrior — best 40 among linebackers (4.51), tied for third-best bench press (28 reps), third-best vertical jump, tied for second-best broad jump and second-best 20-yard shuttle.

The negatives would be Pierre-Louis’ strength when he has to engage with blockers, some recognition and, ultimately, teams may view him as a “tweener” (6-1, 232). For Bears fans, what’s interesting about Pierre-Louis is that he’s the type of player that should play in space with his athleticism and rushing abilities, which is what we expect to see from Shea McClellin. If that’s an area on the defense the Bears want more depth (edge-rushing linebacker who can move sideline to sideline), Pierre-Louis would be a solid depth addition.

From @RossJacobson: Who is your sleeper TV star if Bears get chosen for Hard Knocks? 

We already know the obvious stars — Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall, Kyle Long, Jared Allen and Jay Cutler — just because it’d be funny to see Jay in that kind of setting. Here’s a sleeper if HBO’s cameras came to Bourbonnais: new defensive end Willie Young. We haven’t met Young yet, just talked with him on a conference call, but Young is obsessed with fishing, which has to provide for a nice plot to an episode of Hard Knocks. 

If Hard Knocks does pick the Bears — or, I should say, force the Bears to comply — I hope they give enough attention to the punting competition. 

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